TAKING ON THE BEST: Grafton begins its new campaign with a road trip against the reigning premier at Richardson Park.
TAKING ON THE BEST: Grafton begins its new campaign with a road trip against the reigning premier at Richardson Park. Emily Burley

Tough task for Tigers to find roar against reigning champs

AFTER a rain affected opening weekend, the million dollar question is will the wet weather have a similar impact on round 2?

Players, coaches, umpires, and administrators across the region have their fingers crossed that it won't.

This week's match-ups sees Sawtell/Toormina hosting Grafton while Coffs Breakers travel to Port Macquarie to take on the Magpies.

Grafton's first round match was called off due to surface water on Ellem Oval so the Tigers are short of a run.

Add to this the fact a couple of key players are missing, including star recruit Pat Curtain who's in Western Australia, and what was already a big task against the reigning premier just got a whole lot harder.

The Tigers will be keen to give a good account of themselves and get the season heading in a positive direction.

Sawtell/Toormina had an excellent win last weekend and will be looking to continue their positive momentum.

Returning players Jack Gillingham and Jed Ellis-Cluff looked like they hadn't been away while co-coaching duties doesn't look to have slowed Luke Matthews down at all.

Port Macquarie was badly undermanned last week and will be sweating on the possible return of key defender Rod Sonogan for their clash against the Breakers.

The Magpies defence was vastly inexperienced against Sawtell/Toormina and struggled to contain the Saints key forwards, so the hope Sonogan plays is because he offers leadership and structure in the defensive 50.

Breakers missed out on playing in Grafton last week and will be champing at the bit to get out on the ground and into the heat of competitive battle.

The Breakers have had a number of important players move on this season, matched by what looks to be an equally impressive list of replacements, so the key challenge will be how quickly they can gel.

AFL NORTH COAST

Sawtell/Toormina v Grafton

Port Macquarie v Coffs Breakers



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